Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Baptism Pool

Life here in MA is aMAzing. (hahaha it took me like 3 minutes to come up with that and it's totally lame.) But really it is quite good. Sister Roy is doing amazing, she does a great job of being patient with me when I have zero idea what's going on. Which is a good chunk of the time, so she must be REALLY patient. Luckily we get to work with some pretty incredible members that make our lives easy. Every time we go to help our members share the gospel and bring their friends closer to Christ, I feel like those two monsters from Monster's Inc. that are like janitors? And every time the Scarers walk by, they bang random tools on metal stuff and say "They're. Soo. AWESOME."
Me = janitor monster
Members = Scarers
So as a missionary we have 3 "pools" - the Finding Pool, the Teaching Pool, and the Baptism Pool. The Finding Pool is our list of potential investigators - mainly people that our members know and are working with. The Teaching Pool is anyone that we are currently teaching, and the Baptism Pool is anyone we are currently teaching that has a baptismal date. This week our baptism pool got a little ... literal.
So the Elders have been teaching this man named Jose Smith (that's right people, JOSEPH SMITH. His Dad's name is even Joseph. Which makes him JOSEPH. SMITH. JR.). And this Saturday he got baptized! We had the baptismal service at the church at 9:00 am and the Elders got there at 5:30 to fill up the font. It takes approximately 3 hours to fill. When Sister Roy and I arrived at a quarter to 9:00, we passed by the font room. THE FONT WAS EMPTY. Okay, not empty-empty, but like it had about an inch of water in the bottem. How do you baptize someone with an inch of water? Exactly, sprinkling. (Just kidding. We did not apostasize and sprinkle Jose.)  Apparently the plug got sucked DOWN THE DRAIN and the Elders hadn't noticed until about 2 minutes before we arrived! Everyone was in their seats ready for the program to start when we walked in to announce the font had drained.
Luckily our amazing Bishop saved us. He kind of reminds me of Harvey Dent from Batman but before he goes evil. ... Which is good because nobody wants an evil Bishop. He also happens to be quite wealthy and just happened to have completed construction on his brand new swimming pool this last week. That's right everyone, JOSE GOT BAPTIZED IN THE SWIMMING POOL. (Get it? Baptism pool. hahahahahahaha). It was quite the memorable experience and Jose was surprised when we told him that this usually doesn't happen. The service actually turned out pretty beautifully, after I ventured into the neighbor's yard to ask him to stop using his chain-saw.
Just another day in the life of a missionary. It's craziness. But I LOVE IT!
Also, to anyone who has written me a letter and not gotten one back, it's not because I don't totally love you and appreciate all you've said to me. I WILL write you back. The question is just when....
Anyways, I love you all! Thank you for being so supportive, it's a huge blessing.
Sister Gledhill

Monday, July 22, 2013

Transfer Magic

Hello humans! How is the real world going? Life in the missionary bubble has been especially sweet this week due to transfer magic - that's when tons of amazing things happen because one of my companions is leaving and needs to be super blessed and one of my companions is coming and needs to be super blessed. Hence like 5x the amount of normal blessings. It's super cool and so many things kind of just fell into place! This work is definitely inspired, and a lot of good things are going to happen this transfer!

My trainee totally is here!!! My baby's name is Sister Rachel Roy. She is so adorable and tiny and twenty. She is from Sandy, Utah and went to BYU for a couple of years before coming out and she is majoring in Communication Disorders. She also has Cystic Fibrosis. On Wednesday, President Packard called me into his office (we were there to help orientate the newbies) and told me the Lord has a special calling for me - to train Sister Roy! I got to find out a day early because we had to go and do a bunch of things with her insurance that day, so it was awesome to bond before any one else even knew who their companions would be! Basically the only thing that her CF affects is that we have to do cardio exercise for 45 minutes to an hour everyday (I know. I know. God sure does have a sense of humor.) And she also has to do breathing treatments every morning and night for about 45 minutes. She puts on this inflatable vest that shakes around her lungs and breathes through this tube full of medicine. It literally sounds like I'm studying next to someone going scuba diving - but it's strangely soothing. I think it kind of reminds me of car wash sounds I heard for 3 years of my life ... why this soothes me, I have no idea.

Sister Roy has such a strong spirit and determination! She is so ready to learn and improve and work. She doesn't let any of her circumstances stand in her way! She is so ... persistent? Devoted? She ran a marathon a few months ago. She's marathon-y. We are going to be great friends - if I don't die from cardio overload. And also she has good taste in music which is always a plus. Also she unpacked her clothes and we have like 5 matching outfits. For some reason, once you go on a mission, matching becomes the most hilarious thing ever so I'm sure we will have tons of fun. It was weird to say goodbye to Sister Bringhurst and realize how close we had gotten after 6 weeks! Spending all of your waking and sleeping moments with someone for a month and a half will do that to ya. Luckily she is still in my district, so I see her at least once a week. I'm excited to bond with Sister Roy though!
Speaking of my district, when I was in President Packard's office on Wednesday he also gave me another special assignment. My district consists of 4 companionships - The Assistants to the President, the Zone Leaders, The Sister Training Leaders, and Sister Roy and I. So basically everyone has a leadership calling already and there is no one to be District Leader. So, for the first time in the history of the Massachusetts Boston Mission (and in my head I say in the history of ever to make myself feel cooler), a sister will be serving as District Leader! ... and that sister is me! But really, we call it District Mom because I can't do everything a district leader can because of the whole lack of the priesthood thing. But I get to do reporting and check on all of my district members and stuff. It's kind of hilarious and super fun. Definitely a unique opportunity!
In other exciting news, we found out that Babe Ruth, Chris Evens aka Captain America, and Mary (as in Mary had a little lamb Mary) all lived in Sudbury, which is one of the towns we cover! And ya, don't ask me how Mary is a real person because I do not understand. But she is! And we went and saw the school house that the lamb followed her to! #Wild&CrazyMissionaryLyf
Also, one of our members (Sister Baer - she took us to dead sea scrolls) is a professional ballroom dancer and told us that she taught Shaqueil O'Neil how to swing dance a couple of years ago. He lived in Sudbury when he played for the Celtics!
Being a missionary is so incredible. There are so many miracles that happen to us everyday that I kind of take for granted - like I just kind of expect it. But I'm going to write down a miracle every day in hopes of being more grateful for it! But I have the strongest testimony that Heavenly Father is watching over us and is involved in every detail of this work. It's incredible to watch things unfold that we could not possibly be able to accomplish on our own. There is such power in the gospel! I hope you guys can see it in your lives too! I pray for you everyday and am so grateful for all you do for me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm Expecting!

That's right boys and girls, I AM GETTING A BABY!
Sister Bringhurst is transferring to the Weston 2nd ward on Thursday, and I am staying here in Weston 1st and training a brand newbie from the MTC! Everyone keeps asking me if I'm nervous to train, but I'm actually super stoked! Although, the more that people ask if I'm nervous, the more I feel like I should be nervous. I think I will be more nervous when I actually meet her and there is a living, breathing missionary that expects me to know how things work out here. ... ya maybe you should pray for me.
This week has been so so crazy and I kind of can't even remember what happened. There were a lot of exchanges with sisters, and lots of success, and lots of blessings, and lots of just loving being a missionary! Ahhhh!
So. Big things are happening this week! I have to run, but be excited for me! I love you guys and am so grateful for your support!
Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pictures from Boston!!!

PhotoRocket Gallery - Weston 1st Ward <3

America Pranked Me

What I'm about to tell you may be shocking. Prepare yourselves for the following conversation that I had this week.

Group of Missionaries: Wooo Boston! 4th of July! Woo! Gospel! Fireworks! Wooo! (paraphrased)

Me: Ya I'm so excited to be in downtown Boston! I've been wanting to come into the city for forever!

Group of Missionaries: Ya, Boston! Fireworks! Wooooohooooo!!! (paraphrased)

Me: Ya let's go see the Boston Bell!

Group of Missionaries: ......

Me: You know, the Boston Bell. Historical American landmark? With a crack in it?
Group of Missionaries:  You mean the one in Philadelphia?

Me: .......

Ya guys, THE BOSTON BELL IS NOT IN BOSTON. Nor is it called the Boston Bell. It is called the Liberty Bell. The one iconic Boston historical thing I wanted to see is NOT EVEN REAL. Ugh.
BUT. We did get to go into the city to watch the fireworks on the 4th! It was fantastic! But pretty comparable to any other firework show I think. Don't tell anyone though, because it is supposed to be world class and stuff.  We also went into the city today! Sister Baer is this awesome lady in our ward and she took us to the Museum of Science to see the Dead Sea Scrolls! It was incredible. The Bible is really old. I feel so scholarly. And also like I want to go to Jerusalem. Family trip 2015?
In other news, this week was by far the most amazing out here. We really are starting to see the fruits of our labor! (That is the lamest expression I just realized.) ... We really are starting to have some success! (Ya I can talk like a normal person and not paraphrase the scriptures all the time!) We taught one of our investigators the plan of salvation this week. Her name is Guiriline and she is from Haiti and looks like she's 30 but is actually like 55. She is the mom of a bunch of teenage girls that recently got baptized and has an incredible testimony of Christ. Also she works harder than probably is possible for anyone to physically do. But it was amazing to see her learn that she is Daughter of God and that she lived with Him before she came to this earth. It was like her spirit automatically recognized it as truth. It ruled. Being a missionary rules.
This week we have a TON of work to do, and I am so excited! On Saturday Transfer Texts come out, so we will find out who is leaving and who is staying. Sister Bringhurst and I are both pretty sure that we will stay, but also we know that President wants Sister Bringhurst and another Sister Training Leader to be companions as soon as possible. Also 11 new sisters are coming into the mission that need to be trained! So, we will just have to see what happens! Cross your fingers that I get to stay where I am because I absolutely love it!
I LOVE you guys! Keep me updated on your awesome lives! Share the gospel with someone, okay?
Love, Sister Gledhill

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Missionaries: Friends of the Crazy and the Elderly

This week we STILL did not have a car. STILL! They said it would take 5 days when we first dropped it off, and now we are up to 16. So now I have the calf muscles of a goddess because we've been walking so much. Just kidding, I wish that was the result. Mostly I just have a few blisters and a lot of sweat. There are 2 types of weather here: sweaty and sticky. I haven't quite decided which one I loathe - I mean LOVE more. But Wednesday is the blessed day when we will get Esmeralda (the car) back! And we will be so so so appreciative and grateful.
Because we have been walking, we get to meet a lot of people of the streets! However, the majority of people that talk to us are certifiably insane. But crazy people LOVE missionaries. Also really old people. Like, crazy old people. It rules. We did talk to a really friendly young Wicken the other day, so we will see where that goes. Hopefully he doesn't curse us or something. I've also been able to memorize the 13 articles of faith in our walking time! So, really between the sweat, the crazies, the wicken, and the memorization, the walking has really paid off.
Since coming on my mission, I have easily doubled my normal food intake. I'm starting to feel weirdly ... solid. We seriously eat ALL. THE. TIME. I think people feel more comfortable having us over if they are feeding us. This is nice, but also worrisome. I have begun to scale-stalk (get on any scale in any home I see) and depending on the scale, I have gained anywhere from 2 to 10 pounds. So ... I guess we will just have to wait and see if I start splitting seams anytime soon. Also, it probably doesn't help that we keep a stash of at least 3 pints of Ben & Jerry's in the apartment at all times. What evs. #icecream4lyf
In addition to the Mailbox Mystery of last week, another strange phenomena has been occurring. About half of the people who try to text us reach some random Bostonian man. Our YM president has been in particularly regular contact with this guy. Get this, WE HAVE THE EXACT SAME PHONE NUMBER. Uh... okay? This is rather unfortunate because we actually would like for people to be able to get a hold of us. However, We are also fairly certain that this man is DESTINED to be baptized. We need to find a Sprint store to work things out, but the closest one is like an 8 hour walk. So ... maybe next week. In the mean time, we have instructed the YM president to invite him to church.
This week we get to watch fireworks!!! I guess the 4th of July is a pretty big deal over here. Something about the birthplace of freedom and important historical stuff, yada yada yada. (Just kidding. It really is awesome.) So I will let you know if the fireworks here blow Utah fireworks out of the watah (Boston accent.)
The work is incredible. After a few slow weeks, we really felt like we had some breakthroughs this week. For some people it is so apparent that they are ready for the gospel and I'm so humbled to be a part of building Heavenly Father's kingdom. It is easy to see that He is doing all of the big stuff and we are just tiny cogs in the machine - but it's super gratifying. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth and I just want to shout about it! So I do. Because I'm a missionary and we can do things like that.
Try not to melt out there! 100 degrees? #nutz.
I love you guys!
Sister Gledhill